What Are the Best Video Cables to Use for Computer-TV Streaming?
28 Aug 2017 21:37:27
As more and more people make use of online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the need to connect computers to TVs is increasing.
The problem is, if you've never done it before, connecting a computer to a TV can be a confusing task.
There are a couple of different ways to connect your computer to your TV, but the most reliable way is by using video cables. They ensure a quick, responsive, and consistent image which essentially mirrors what's happening on your computer monitor.
But what are the best video cables for computer-TV streaming? Do certain cables work better than others?
Let's take a look.
What Type of Video Cables Are There?
There are a number of different video cables available, all of which possess their very own benefits and drawbacks. These include HDMI cables, DVI cables, VGA cables, USB cables, and S-Video cables.
Easily the most popular cables for connecting computers and TVs, HDMI cables are equal parts cheap and effective. Not only do they deliver excellent high-definition video quality, but top-notch sound quality as well.
The vast majority of TVs and computers are equipped with HDMI ports. In fact, the only reason yours wouldn't be would be if it wasn't manufactured sometime in the last decade.
Even if your computer does not possess a HDMI port, there are adapters available which will enable you to make use of HDMI cables.
These cables come in three different sizes, including regular, mini, and micro. Almost all TVs and computers possess regular-sized HDMI ports, so be sure to avoid mini and micro versions when buying.
The next type of cable you can use to connect your computer to your TV is a DVI cable.
In terms of actual video quality provided, these cables are identical to HDMI cables.
The difference between HDMI and DVI cables lies in the fact that DVI cables can't handle video formats which are HDCP encrypted. This prevents them from being able to playback some high-definition formats such as Bluray.
Also, note that DVI cables can not handle audio. If you choose to use a DVI cable, you'll have to also purchase a separate cable to transfer audio.
DVI ports are present on the vast majority of desktop computers, but are usually not present on laptops. If your computer doesn't possess a HDMI port, DVI would be a decent option.
While not all TVs and computers are equipped them, VGA ports can still be found on quite a few HDTVs, desktop computers, and laptops. This enables these devices to connect via VGA cable.
VGA ports were traditionally the most common ports found on electronic devices, but, because they're analog, they've slowly given way to HDMI and DVI.
Though do allow for fairly high resolutions, they're not equipped to accommodate the truly high definition picture that is expected in these modern times.
Like DVI cables, they're not capable of handling audio.
That being said, they are cheap. Not to mention, because they're so common, you're bound to find one lying around your house somewhere! They're by no means the best computer-TV streaming cables on the market today, but they will suffice in a pinch.
Another option available for connecting your computer to your TV is a USB-to-USB cable.
While not all TVs are equipped with USB ports, more and more are starting to be. However, before you try to plug your computer into your TV via USB, make sure that your TV's USB port is designed to handle your computer.
Many TV USB ports are there simply for updating purposes. They won't necessarily transfer the data from your computer to your television.
Like VGA cables, USB cables can be passable, but are far from the best option. They do, however, transfer both sound and audio, making them valuable when compared to DVI and VGA cables.
They're also extremely affordable and easy to find. If your TV can handle a USB, it's not a bad option.
The last video cable we'll discuss is also the most antiquated. S-video cables were used to connect computers and TVs in the early days of personal computers, but have declined in use with time.
The primary reason for this is that S-video cables quite simply don't provide high enough picture quality. Not to mention, they don't transfer audio at all.
This isn't to say that you can't still use S-video cables to connect computers and TVs. The vast majority of TVs and computers are still equipped with S-Video ports, so it is a possibility.
But, unless you're stranded with just an S-video cable, you should opt for something else.
HDMIs, DVIs, VGAs, and USBs will all produce better image resolution when it comes to connecting your computer and TV.
So, Which Video Cables Are the Best for Computer-TV Streaming?
As long as you're not trying to connect your computer and your TV over extremely long distances (over 100 feet), HDMI cables are the best for computer-TV streaming.
They are cheaper, more versatile, and provide better quality than any other type of video cable.
If you've got a HDMI port on your computer, you shouldn't use anything other than HDMI cables. And if your computer lacks a HDMI port, you've got two options. You can either use a HDMI adapter, or you can make use of a DVI cable.
Using a DVI cable will be slightly cheaper than using an adapter, but will also result in less overall functionality.
In essence, you should make every effort to use HDMI cables when connecting your computer to your TV.
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If you're looking for video cables you can use to connect your computer to your TV, you're in the right place.
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